Princeton Falls to Comeback by Harvard

Princeton, NJ - The 2010 Princeton men's lacrosse team lost to Harvard and won a share of the Ivy League championship on the same day. The 2011 team lost to Harvard and had no such reward. This time, Princeton's consolation prize was the fact that it wasn't eliminated from the Ivy League tournament race.

Dean Gibbons had three goals and three assists to offset 16 saves by Tyler Fiorito and a career-best three goals from Alex Capretta as Harvard defeated Princeton 9-8 in front of 1,417 at the Class of 1952 Stadium. Harvard has now defeated Princeton in consecutive years for the first time since 1987 and 1988. Harry Krieger made 15 saves for the Crimson.

Princeton, already with its lineup hit by injuries for the entire season, played without starting defenseman Jonathan Meyers and shortstick defensive middie/face-off man Peter Smyth. The Tigers also had starting defenseman Long Ellis to a wrist injury after he had three caused turnovers in the game.

Still, all the news wasn't horrible for Princeton, as there is a still a chance at the Ivy League tournament field.

Cornell was already in the field before the weekend started, and Penn defeated Dartmouth 9-4 Saturday to clinch a spot as well. Yale defeated Georgetown in a non-league game but clinched a spot with Cornell's win over Brown, which also elminated the Bears.

With three leagues to go on the final weekend, Princeton would get into the Ivy tournament with a win at Cornell and a Yale win over Harvard. Princeton would be eliminated with a Harvard win over Yale, regardless of what Princeton did in its game.

Of course, should Princeton and Harvard both lose, then the fourth spot would be decided by the Dartmouth-Brown game. A Brown win over Dartmouth in that situation would create a three-way tie between Princeton, Harvard and Brown and give the fourth spot to Harvard by virtue of its 2-0 record against the other two. A Dartmouth win in that case would leave the three-way tie between the Tigers, Crimson and Big Green, and because they'd all be 1-1 against each other and have a win over Brown, there'd be no way to break the tie other than a random draw.

In other words, Princeton could beat Cornell and not get in or, depending on what else happened, lose to Cornell and get in.

None of that was front and center during the frantic end of the Princeton-Harvard game. The Tigers led 3-0 early before falling behind 6-3 and then 8-4 before trying to come back.

Luke Armour and Mike Grossman scored to make it 8-6 at the end of the third, but Gibbons built it back to a three-goal edge when he scored the first goal of the fourth quarter.

Armour and Capretta scored two minutes apart to make it 9-8 with 4:13 to go, and Princeton would get three more shots after that but could not get the equalizer.

Chris McBride had two goals and an assist for Princeton, who outshot Harvard 45-30.

PRINCETON, N.J. Dean Gibbons scored three times and assisted on three other tallies, while goalie Harry Krieger recorded 15 saves, as Harvard earned a 9-8 comeback victory at Princeton Saturday afternoon. With the win, Harvard improves to 2-3 in Ivy League play and remains in contention for a spot in the Ivy League Tournament May 6-8.

Matt Hull also added a hat trick for the Crimson, which sees its record move to 8-5 overall, marking the second time in three seasons Harvard has won at least eight games. Princeton sees its overall record fall to 4-7, and drops to 2-3 in conference action. The Crimson has now defeated the Tigers in two straight seasons for the first time since taking three straight against its Ancient Eight rival from 1986-88.

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